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Redstage Gives Away 30+ Free Magento 1 Extensions!

Redstage Gives Away 30+ Free Magento 1 Extensions!

Free Magento 1 Extensions!

Today Redstage launched the agency’s exclusive extension store, featuring 36 free Magento 1 extensions! Click here to visit the extension store and browse our list of available extensions.

“This is just another example of the value clients can expect from Redstage.”Adam Morris, Redstage CEO

“We’ve built dozens of custom extensions over the course of our 10 years in business. As a thank you to everyone who helped us get this far, we thought we’d release a bunch of them for free. This is just another example of the value clients can expect from Redstage.” Adam Morris, Redstage CEO said of the store launch. “This has been a long-time coming,” CMO & Co-Founder Anthony Latona said, “I’m excited for the new offerings we have to share with Redstage’s clients, both present and future. This is just the first step for what’s in store.”

The Magento 1 store includes a variety of useful extensions, helping merchants beef up their UX, supercharge their shipping, make data-driven product recommendations and more to increase sales. The plugins allow customers to shop by brand, write reviews, navigate stores easier, and calculate shipping. Check out the store to learn more!

The store launch comes as Redstage reaches the half-way point of its 10th year in business (and with Magento’s latest announcement about ending Magento 1 support, pegged for June of 2020). Known for world-class competency in Magento development, Redstage also recently launched an experimental mobile conversion optimization study. Learn more about the study and its surprising results here.

Redstage Named A Leader in New York E-Commerce Development

Redstage Named A Leader in New York E-Commerce Development

The Redstage team is dedicated to delivering high-quality services that exceed our clients’ expectations. As a New York E-Commerce development agency, we’ve always known that we do a great job, but it never hurts to be recognized for your hard work. That is why we’re pleased to announce Redstage was named a leading e-commerce and Shopify developer by Clutch, and one of the top three Magento developers in New York!

New York E-Commerce Development

A Leader In New York E-Commerce Development

We’re thrilled to be featured in a top spot across multiple service areas, not to mention the positive feedback we received from our clients in our Clutch profile’s reviews. These clients shared their experiences working with our team, detailing the different Magento development and integration projects we’ve completed for them. Here are some highlights from what they had to say:

“One thing that stood out was how personable they were. They’re very professional. We didn’t experience any issues with communication or workflow.”
“We built a relationship and a bond with them, and the results speak for themselves. They did an exceptional job, and they really do care.”
“I will say that they’re clearly able to manage their client expectations and deliver high-quality work on a consistent basis. Their process is both collaborative and extremely transparent. We’ve appreciated that a lot as their client.”

Thank you to our clients for the candid comments! We are honored to receive this award for our commitment to our services. Our team is looking forward to a continued relationship with Clutch, maintaining our standing as a leading developer, and reading more great reviews!

Who Ranks New York E-Commerce Development?

Clutch is a third-party ratings and reviews platform that connects businesses with the service provider, solution and insights needed to help conquer their challenges. This week, they evaluated New York e-commerce development companies on their market presence, ability to deliver their services, and client references to determine the list of leading firms in the area. You can view Redstage’s latest reviews & ratings here!

As seen on: Business Insider, MarketWatch, Biz Journals and more!

 

Where Did That Button Go? From Magento 1 To Magento 2

Where Did That Button Go? From Magento 1 To Magento 2

Where Did That Button Go? From Magento 1 To Magento 2

The Old Switcheroo

The transition from Magento 1 to Magento 2 is anything but simple. Just ask our Developers and Project Managers who work directly on M1->M2 migrations for clients all the time. Even after you get past the migration itself, there are a few updates to the platform that can throw users for a loop, namely menu buttons being moved around between versions. We do so many migrations, we thought we’d make this helpful chart to assist M2 first-timers, and even some of the more seasoned M2 pros. Here are a handful of menu directions to help you find out, “Where did that button go?” from Magento 1 to Magento 2.

Here are the questions we’ll be answering in this post:



 

1. Update Design Theme

You may be looking for where you used to update your design theme. In Magento 2, there is a new main menu item labeled “Content” which is the new home for numerous menu options.  In M1, you would go to System > Configuration for a majority of settings but they are now recategorized in different locations.  Here’s where the options used to live in M1:

Magento 1
System > Configuration > Design > ::Package::, ::Themes::

…and now in Magento 2:

Magento 2
Content > :: Design:: > Themes

 

2. Promotions (Catalog price rules & Cart Price Rules (coupons))

One of the most widely used and most powerful features in Magento is the ability to create powerful discounts and pricing rules.  In Magento 2, this too has changed locations to live inside a new high-level menu labeled, “Marketing”.

Magento 1
Promotions > Catalog Price Rule, Cart Price Rules
Magento 2
Marketing > ::Promotions:: > Catalog Price Rule, Cart Price Rules

 

3. Update Email Templates

You’re sending so many emails to every customer in your store and you should have every one of them optimized.  Now you’ve migrated to Magento 2 and you’re wondering how to add a new template or edit your existing ones.  Here is where these settings used to be and where they have migrated to.

Magento 1
System > Transactional Emails

…and now in Magento 2:

Magento 2
Marketing > ::Communications::> Email Templates

 


Want some custom, fresh and highly engaging transactional email designs?
Redstage’s design and dev teams are ready to help!

Click Here to Learn More

 

4. URL Rewrites

URL Rewrites are a useful way to create shorter links from complex URLs and manage the automatically created rewrites that Magento generates.  This is another items that moved into the new “Marketing” section whereas it used to be part of the Catalog in Magento 1:

Magento 1
Catalog > URL Rewrite Management

…and now in Magento 2:

Magento 2
Marketing > ::SEO & Search:: > URL Rewrites

 

5. Search Terms & Synonyms

If you’re finding that users are searching for certain terms but not getting the right results, forward them to the right page.  A past Redstage client was selling musical equipment along with some t-shirts.  However, they found that people were searching for “t shirt”, “tee shirt” and sometimes, “tshirt”, along with the plural versions of all of these.  In the default Magento search, the customer searching for these would never find themselves on the “t-shirts” category page but with the search terms and synonyms feature, we were able to direct the searchers to the right category.  In Magento 1, this useful feature used to live in:

Magento 1
Catalog > Search Terms

…and now in Magento 2:

Magento 2
Marketing > ::SEO & Search:: > Search Terms

 

6. Manage Reviews

Reviews are the most powerful social proof your site has out of the box and effectively managing them is crucial for your business growth.  Now, reviews are a part of the Marketing section in Magento 2, and in Magento 1 they were part of the catalog settings:

Magento 1
Catalog > Reviews and Ratings > Manage Reviews

…and now in Magento 2:

Magento 2
Marketing > ::User Content:: > Reviews


 

7.Manage Ratings

In Magento 2, the setup for your reviews section has moved into a very different section.  In Magento 1, it was considered part of the Reviews and Ratings section within the Catalog heading.  Now, the ratings are considered part of the Attributes section, in Magento 2.

Magento 1
Catalog > Reviews and Ratings > Manage Ratings

…and now in Magento 2:

Magento 2
Stores > ::Attributes:: > Rating

 

8. Customer Groups

Managing existing  and creating new customer groups is one of the settings that has moved the most and may be tricky to find.  In M1, these settings were a part of the customers grouping but in Magento 2 it is in the “Stores” Tab under Other settings:

Magento 1
Customers > Customer Groups

…and now in Magento 2:

Magento 2
Stores > ::Other Settings:: > Customer Groups


 

9. Update Design Configuration

Design configuration used to be in the system -> Configuration tab, however, it was moved to live in a new high level tab for “Content”.  This is the section that would allow you to add code to the <head> or before </body>, update the copyright and many more.  This is where these settings were in M1:

Magento 1
M1 – System > Configuration > Design

…and now in Magento 2:

Magento 2
M2 – Content > ::Design:: > Configuration > choose theme scope


 

10. Configuration

You were probably very used to going to “System -> Configuration” all the time in M1.  Now, the configuration settings you exptected to be in the system /config are in the stores dropdown -> configuration .

Magento 1
System>Configuration

…and now in Magento 2:

Magento 2
Stores>configuration


 

11. CMS Pages/Blocks/etc

Content is still king!  Managing your pages is always going to be important but more importantly, where did the setting go?!  Managing pages and static block content is now in the “Content” menu instead of the CMS heading in M1.

Magento 1
CMS>Pages/blocks/etc.

…and now in Magento 2:

Magento 2
Content> Elements>Pages/blocks/etc


 

12. Products/Category Administration

One of the more substantial changes from M1 to M2 is the change of the high level category from “Catalog” to “Products”.  If you’re looking for the place to manage the categories, here is where it was in Magento 1:

Magento 1
Catalog>Manage Products or Catalog>{Categories}>Manage Categories (the middle categories is enterprise only)

…and now in Magento 2:

Magento 2
Products>Catalog or Products>Categories


 

13. Manage Attributes/Attribute Sets

Attributes + Layered navigation create the best way to allow your customers to find what they are looking for in your store.  Making sure your attributes are organized and up to date is critical so let’s find where this setting moved to.

Magento 1
Catalog>Attributes>Manage Attributes or Catalog>Attributes>Manage Attribute Sets
Magento 2
Stores>Attributes>Product or Stores>Attributes>Attribute Set

If you have noticed any additional big changes to the admin, share them in the comments below!

 

The Incredible Benefits of Magento 2

The Incredible Benefits of Magento 2

Magento Ecommerce - Redstage Worldwide | Magento Development |

Magento just took everything to a whole new level with Magento 2.0. Magento 2 offers a superior feature set compared to nearly any other ecommerce platforms but you may ask yourself… What are the real benefits of Magento 2?

Originally, we thought that Magento 2 would simply be a major upgrade from Magento 1, but it’s actually much, much more than that. The file structure, admin panel organization and themeing system are all highly upgraded from the original Magento branch. What we would like to discuss are the major benefits of Magento 2.X and why you should embrace these changes and all of the opportunities for improvement that an upgrade will bring your business. As long time members of the Magento Community, we compiled a list of all the features and changes we love in an attempt to familiarize you with the improvements.

Let’s get started with the basics.

Intuitive Dashboard for User Admin:

The new Magento Admin is intuitive, easy to use, fully mobile responsive and accessible on any device. This update allows you to effortlessly configure your administrative workspace to manage products, process orders, and analyze customer data. You now have the ability to turn on or off any column in your view and drag it into the position of your choosing which allows you to quickly access the information you need when you need it. You can save the specific view and return to it in the future. Multiple admin users can create and edit products without fear of data conflicts. Menu grouping by function- system or e-commerce all modules are more logically organized and user friendly.

image001

Real Time notifications of Updates

image003

Data Grid & Keyword Search:

Combine your use of full text searches with keyword searches and SEO for greater customer satisfaction and greater exposure of your products. Omnichannel capabilities allow you to connect your site to other sites such as Ebay in order to increase the exposure of your products and their sales.

image005

Visual Merchandiser:

You can reduce optimization time with the drag and drop tool and the new automated sorting tool.

image007

Reporting & Analytics

Built in reporting and support for google analytics and google tag manager.

image009

More Opportunities for Magento Customization & New Speeds

Magento 2 provides more opportunities for customization without changing core site functionality. It organizes everything under the app structure and allows every module to have its very own directory where you can access all Magento templates, layouts, etc. Setting up new products is a breeze with a guided process that allows you to easily configure your product values such as size, color, and price. The new Magento Attributes give you an opportunity to recreate and better your site and gives you the motivation you need to reevaluate your Magento Performance to make it a better experience for your customers.
Other Magento ecommerce features include its partnership with Varnish Cache, a leading http accelerator technology for fast page loads and server loads which are making Magento sites work much faster than in previous versions. The efficient updates have improved query performance and speed dramatically.

Guided Migration

Magento 2 has a robust a migration tool to help with the data migration between platforms. This assists with store setup, products, customers, orders, and promo rules, but theme and code customizations which includes 3rd party extensions will not be transferable. This is a very interesting tool that we’re excited to see grow into an even more powerful system.

 


At Redstage, we always treat new Magento versions with caution and wait patiently while the new version is tested by the real world and the outstanding Magento community of partners and merchants. Magento 2.0 was released in November of 2015 and it’s truly ready to be your ecommerce platform!

Limitations of Magento (And How to Overcome Them)

Limitations of Magento (And How to Overcome Them)

Limitations of Magento (And How to Overcome Them)

My last post covered the benefits of Magento, so I figured it would only be fair to discuss the other side of the coin.

What are the limitations of Magento?

You didn’t think you were going to get all of this awesome functionality and endless extensibility without a few catches did you?

Limitations of Magento (And How to Overcome Them)

1) Speed

We’re just going to tackle the big one right off the bat.  Yeah, Magento is slow, really slow.  I’m sure that’s what you’ve heard anyway.  The truth is, that it’s only really slow in the wrong hands.  Let’s start from the beginning.

Magento was designed to be the most extenisble system ever made.  And the original developers definitely made it happen.  To accomplish this, the system had to be architected by isolating each feature so that changing (extending) that feature wouldn’t affect the rest of the system.  The result is a whooole lot of files.  Magento is reading hundreds if not thousands of different files in hundreds of folders for every single visitor that’s on your site.

So with Magento’s biggest strength, it also inherited its biggest weakness.  I’m pretty sure that if Magento hadn’t gotten so popular so rapidly with tens of thousands of feature requests piling up on their site, then they would’ve gotten around to this speed problem.

What is one to do?  Based on our extensive experience on the subject, there’s actually a lot you can do.  First and foremost, GET A GOOD HOST.  And by good, I also mean that specializing in Magento.  If you throw just default magento onto a Godaddy dedicated server, it’s going to be very slow.  We’ve worked with at least a dozen different hosts, and have had our biggest success with a company called MageMojo — top notch hardware, Magento knowledge, and service.

Next you’re going to want to check out 101 Ways to Speed up your Magento.  It’s a very comprehensive guide.

The hosting is probably 80% of the problem, then the tweaks in the guide should make up the other 20%.  If you have a custom theme, and you’re site’s still really slow after both of those suggestions have been explored, then your problem most likely lies in one of two areas: 1. Your Extensions or 2. A custom Query.

Often times an extension developer will release something that works on a demo store, but is crippling when throwing traffic at it or a DB or more than 10 products.  A great example is a shop by brand extension that we once used that queried every single brand to see if it had products in it just to build a dropdown menu of the active brands.  It added a full second or more to the site’s load time.  That’s one of the reasons that we built our own Shop by Brand Extension.

Similarly, a query written by your site’s development team, may be seemlingly innocent, but under load it kills you.  Usually it’s a very small, simple query that ends up being repeated hundreds of times to build a menu or find bestsellers.

Limitations of Magento (And How to Overcome Them)

2) Documentation

Well, there really is none.  The code isn’t really documented at all, and the manual that Magento has for sale isn’t really that useful.  To be honest, most open source platforms have been very poorly documented, but Magento hasn’t really even given it a shot.

For administration of your magento site, you’re best bet is to get your staff some Magento training, whether by webinar or 1 on 1.  The system has its fair share of quirks and unique terminology that take getting used to.  On the development front, it’s incredibly important to use a firm or developer that has extensive Magento experience.  More on that in #4.

Limitations of Magento (And How to Overcome Them)

3) Upgrades

Again, one of the main benefits of Magento, regular updates, is also a bit of a curse.  Magento’s never really had a good upgrade path, meaning a documented and well thought out process to go from one version to another.  And it doesn’t seem like that’s ever going to be a priority.  The result is that, when upgrading, things tend to break.  Most of the time it’s because a site wasn’t developed using Magento best practices.  But often it’s actually because Magento changed the name of something that was even being properly extended.  I remember one upgrade that Magento removed like 18 DB tables and added 30 new ones.  That was annoying…

There’s no real great way to overcome this limitation other than just ensuring that your site is always properly extended and properly developed with Magento best practices. That’s definitely a great start and will avoid most of your problems.  Anytime you upgrade, though, do it on a separate development environment with some Magento experts on hand.  There’s a great chance that something will break and need to be patched up before you can go live with the new version.

Limitations of Magento (And How to Overcome Them)

4) Complexity of theming and development, Cost of development

Developing a Magento takes about 5 times as long as your old OSCommerce, Zen Cart, CRE Loaded, or similar.  The theming system is, well, tedious.  However, the extra time put in in the beginning is well worth it.  Since Magento is a modern system built to modern standards, you won’t end up with the crazy hack job that you used to get customizing an older shopping cart.  This means that the total cost of the site over time will actually be much cheaper.

About 30% of our projects that come into our office are recoveries from other developers or other firms that have screwed it up.  About 70% of the sites that we have touched, that weren’t built by us, were not built with Magento best practices.  Although, to be fair, that’s usually why the end up in our lap in the first place.

Limitations of Magento (And How to Overcome Them)

5) Search

The out of the box search is, well, awful.  It’s pretty much as basic as it gets, and is totally useless in this age of e-commerce.  It does have some built in tweaks that you can play with, but still, useless.  You do have some options though.  Firstly, there’s Better Store Search, a well established Magento Extension that’s pretty popular.  Then there’s Blast Search Lucene, which upgrades your search to use the Lucene library.  If you want to get really fancy and compete with the big boys, you’ll need a Semantic Search like Celebros for Magento.  (Shameless plug: Redstage is the first certified solutions provider of Celebros for Magento).

Limitations of Magento (And How to Overcome Them)

Final Thoughts

I think that about covers it.  Hopefully I haven’t scared you all off!

In my opinion, Magento’s strengths far outweigh its weaknesses. Magento is really one of the most powerful and extensible e-commerce platforms that I’ve ever worked with.  It’s important, though, to at least know what you’re getting yourself into.

For more information on Magento, give us a call! We’re happy to help with all your Magento needs.

Check out this related article for more intel on Maganto
+ Benefits of Magento (redstage.com)

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